An LPN Program Puts You On The Nursing Fast Track

There's no doubt about it, nursing is a great career to get into. Why is it so great? The reasons are many. For starters, there is almost never a shortage of nursing jobs. This is especially important in today's economy with U.S. unemployment at near 9%. Secondly, the aging population means demand for health care is only going to increase in the future. Third, nursing jobs typically pay much better than the national average, with good benefits to boot. But what is the best way into the nursing field? An LPN program may be the fastest and easiest way into this lucrative career.

LPN (licensed practical nursing) programs and LPN courses are available at many of the local community colleges around the country. LPN training is also available from a specialized LPN school, if there is one in your area. In addition to the traditional 'brick and mortar' schools, some accredited institutions also offer online LPN programs.

How to Get Into an LPN Program

There are a couple different ways you can pursue your LPN training. If you prefer to work in the field right away while you take your LPN courses, you can become a CNA (certified nursing assistant). It is very easy to become a CNA. All it takes is a few weeks of training and you will come out earning $10-$15 an hour, depending on what part of the country you're in. This will allow you to earn a living while you train to become an LPN.

The other way to do it is to go straight into an LPN program. All that's normally required to get into an LPN school is a high school diploma. Once there, you can expect to train for anywhere between 18 months and two years. Upon completion, you will need to pass the required state licensure exams before being employed by a hospital or other medical facility.

While taking the LPN training, you'll learn the basic skills and concepts involved in being a nurse. These include pediatrics, first aid, anatomy, nutrition, pharmaceuticals, among others. Of course, supervised practical training in a real medical setting will also be part of your training. At the end of it all, you should be more than ready to jump right into your new career.

Once you become an LPN, you will normally work under the supervision of an RN (registered nurse). Starting pay is usually in the low to mid five figures-not too bad for only 2 years of training. Since many nursing jobs are unionized, you can usually expect annual pay increases and pretty good benefits.

Some LPNs choose to remain in this position their entire nursing career, others choose to continue on with their schooling (usually part-time while working as an LPN) and become an RN. The nice thing about this career is that it offers decent pay for those who want to stay where they are, but it also offers the chance for upward mobility for those who are so inclined. Either way, you will be in a lucrative career that promises to be in great demand for many decades to come.

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